Column: Elon Musk is breaking his new toy. Will it cost us our democracy? | Opinion
Elon Musk is changing the world by inventing electric cars, rockets and the Hyperloop, but if he gets carried away and breaks all his promises, it could mean we lose our democracy.
On his blog in 2005, he said, “One day in the near future, electric cars will be commonplace. Most people will never own a personal vehicle, but they will all have one. The day will come when there are electric cars on every highway.”
The day has come. Cars are now the norm in some cities. And in every city with the right mix of population, infrastructure infrastructure, and public policy (especially as it pertains to the environment), new electric cars are on our highways.
So when Musk, founder of Tesla, says that “electric cars will be commonplace,” what he really means is that he wishes he were here today to see this day. He is, unfortunately, already here.
That’s why a lot of people are nervous. And rightly so.
The future of electric cars, rockets and the Hyperloop could be a step toward a world where only the rich are driving cars. A world without democracy.
We have a problem with this because Tesla is just the most visible of a myriad of companies that are doing this.
Tesla is betting that electric cars will take over all road travel and are therefore changing the way we see the world. The electric car will take our lives and the future of the country a step further, and it is this that Musk is so confident in.
But he is mistaken in thinking this is the end. In fact there will be an inevitable transition. Electric cars will be the norm for cars and public roads. And people will never look back on them with any fondness.
The other companies he is referring to are already doing this and the only difference is that they don’t get the credit they deserve. They are the electric car companies.
Let’s look at both Tesla and the electric car companies.
Tesla is a $400 million car company that does not expect to have profit within five to ten years. Elon Musk has previously said that